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MSW Online, Caribbean Immigrant, UK

January 22, 2013

A number of factors combined with careful planning and a long-term goal coming to fruition have motivated me to pursue my MSW with XXXX University.  First, I feel that I will quickly exhaust every path of opportunity and challenge at my current academic level.  I have a strong desire to build a career in the field of social worker management, inspired by my current position working in a hospital for the Ministry of Health.  From all that I have seen and experienced, it is my belief that there is a distinct need for quality Social Workers working with one person, one family, one community at a time, fostering change on a systemic level.  By earning my MSW with an emphasis in Health, I will fill that need, building upon my existing academic foundation and body of experiences, naturally, fluidly and logically. 

 In the most practical terms, I am now financially able to complete my professional and personal plan, and the convenience of the distance-learning program cannot be underscored enough.   As a mature professional, I am grateful for the opportunity to undertake scholastic development and still contribute in the workplace, and at home.  I have long since planned for, and indeed, dreamed of the day I could enter in this program, and am eager to begin.

 Coming from a family of Caribbean immigrants, I feel I am particularly sensitive to the unique needs of minorities.  Growing up, I heard stories of the struggles of acculturation, such as language barriers, racism, discrimination and other issues the immigrant faces, most of which I have experienced myself in largely Caucasian schools both public and private.  Even as a little girl, I felt drawn to the outsiders, that I understood them, befriending them, and consistently mediated in school situations.  Moreover, I come from a family of caregivers, particularly nurses, and I grew up in an atmosphere that emphasized helping others - the poor, the sick and the needy - at all costs; and not only physically, but socially and spiritually, as well.  It is little wonder that my feet were put onto the path of Social Work and Health.

 Proof of my commitment and indeed of my passion for helping others, can be found in the mission work, community outreach, and work with women in correctional facilities.  For over twenty years, I have devoted my time, energy and spirit to the elderly, within shelters, child welfare agencies, social services, social program management, all with unswerving discipline, drive, strong work and dedication.  There is so much more, though, that needs to be done.  By increasing my knowledge and acumen, I will be able to affect the changes that are so desperately needed.  This enhancement of myself will be amplified by my record of accomplishment within the community, aiding in my success post-graduation.

 While the focus for my MSW is Health, I feel I bring a unique perspective, a belief that good overall health comes not just from dealing with symptoms, but overall well-being, a tot ensemble of mind, body and health.  Choosing the path of Health stems from all of my experiences, from childhood to the present, from growing up in a family where most have dedicated their professional lives to the care of others, through my own BSW and subsequent professional experience, I always want to give that much more, and have a positive impact on as many lives as I can.

There are many social issues in the area of Health, and reflect a challenging role for any Social Worker, even the most dynamic and energetic.  While doctors treat patients when they are at their most vulnerable, it is the Health Social Worker who deals with vulnerable populations so they can rise above their illnesses, taking up where the surgeon cuts, we add positive living resources.  Where the doctor treats the patient, the Social Worker aids the patient as well as the family around them, counseling and laying out sustainable plans.  Hospital or outpatient care ends at the end of their sidewalk, whereas the Social Worker goes beyond, into the home, arranging in-home services. 

 For the Medical Services Social Worker, there are many aspects to consider, psychological, social, and cultural even religious along with medical, all interrelated and complicated by medical conditions.  Given the massive influx of people of differing cultural backgrounds into Canada’s healthcare system and each group brings with them unique needs that deserve to be recognized and catered towards.  In order for Medical Social Services to work effectively for all their patients, a one-size-fits-all attitude or system simply will not work.  Furthermore, giving the current economy, lower income groups are increasing, bringing an increasing need for outreach services, to not just bring about financial relief, but stress relief as well.  There are distinct and causal – proven – links between stress and illness, and the Social Worker is on the forefront of aiding others in reaching more peaceful circumstances in their lives, minds and hearts.

 Lastly, the Social Worker deals with patient advocacy in an economic climate that is forcing insurance companies and healthcare providers to redefine needs based on cost and availability of services, a situation that is stretching resources further and straining healthcare teams.  The contemporary health social worker must be increasingly creative in their advocacy, and be completely aware of the right organizations, changing healthcare resources, policies, availability, and then cross-referencing this with our patient’s unique cultural or social idiosyncrasies.

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